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David

Phillipston, MA, United States | Member Since 2011

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 215 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • The Worthing Saga

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (803)
    Performance
    (365)
    Story
    (371)

    It was a miracle of science that permitted human beings to live, if not forever then for a long, long time. Some people, anyway. The rich, the powerful, they lived their lives at the rate of one year every 10. Some created two societies: that of people who lived out their normal span and died, and those who slept away the decades, skipping over the intervening years and events. It allowed great plans to be put into motion. It allowed interstellar empires to be built.

    Lisa says: "Early Work of a Master"
    "A disappointment when I expected brilliance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Disjointed, start and stop story without a real sense of a novel, of a story progressing and leading to a satisfying conclusion. If I had read up on this more I would not have bought the book. I was not prepared for a series of short stories based on Mr. Card's creation of the world of Worthing. Perhaps if I were more in the mood for short stories I would have felt differently, but I thought I was getting a novel. I love fantasy and Sci Fi both. I found elements of Worthing very interesting but it did not hold together for me ultimately. It FELT (as Mr. Card states in his afterwards) as if the stories came from different periods in his life - just didn't hang together for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In Sunlight and in Shadow

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Mark Helprin
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (74)

    New York in 1947 glows with postwar energy. Harry Copeland, an elite paratrooper who fought behind enemy lines in Europe, returns home to run the family business. In a single, magical encounter on the Staten Island ferry, the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale falls for him instantly but too late to prevent her engagement to a much older man. Harry and Catherine pursue one another in a romance played out in postwar America’s Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, and the haunts of gangsters.

    Leslie says: "Great Insomnia Listening"
    "Sometimes brilliant writing, bogs down often"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I do not remember being so torn by an experience with an audio book. When mr. Helprin focuses on plot I have not read a better writer. WOW is he could at telling a story. And then..... He gets bogged down in philosophizing, describing, ruminating, detailing, zooming in on some aspect of society and spending pages discussing it from all angles. Ok, a certain amount of this is very interesting, he has great things to say and it is fun listening to his perceptive view UP TO A POINT!

    Where was his editor for this book?

    I love everything about this book as a story. This the Perfect novel to turn into a movie because you could leave everything out except the actual story and you would have a blockbuster movie that you could bring in for around two-plus hours.

    That being said, I did not like the way it ended. Too abrupt. Wanted to know a little more about the lives of those 'left behind.' See? I love his storytelling and as far as I am concerned the book could,go on and on with the story and I would be a happy listener.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Neverwhere [Adaptation]

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Christopher Lee, James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, and others
    Overall
    (1712)
    Performance
    (1613)
    Story
    (1609)

    A BBC Radio six-part adaptation of Neil Gaiman's best-selling novel, starring James McAvoy as Richard and Natalie Dormer as Door. Beneath the streets of London there is another London. A subterranean labyrinth of sewers and abandoned tube stations. A somewhere that is Neverwhere....

    Gayle says: "Superb"
    "Sorry, could not get into this AT ALL!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Feel like I was dropped into the middle of a story right at the beginning. Hard to understand the characters. It needs SOME narration. I decided to stick with it awhile to give it a chance figuring it would become clear to me who these people were and what was going on. Sorry to say it did not happen and so after about 40 minutes into the story I just deleted it from my device. Perhaps I am doing the novel a disservice by not staying with it longer. I am an actor and appreciate the concept of dramatizing a novel. I have to admit that a single narrator with the narration intact appeals to me more than this production did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10174)
    Performance
    (9311)
    Story
    (9330)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Split Feelings: Great story but Needs editing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    GREAT story but the author needs to get out of her own way with her penchant for beating us over the head in almost every scene with toooo much detail. I found myself, several times, actually shouting at my ipod, "GET ON WITH IT! I get it, I got it 10 minutes ago, I'm not getting anything else from it, I don't care what you are saying,...... move the plot along PLEEEEZE!!!! I found myself thinking, "If any story could actually be better in an abridged version, this is it." For example (not spoiling anything here), the description of the aftermath of the big event at the beginning of the book went on for about 20 minutes with nothing happening in the story, just describing the scene. Maybe Marcel Proust could get away with it but it's not for me - sorry. That being said, when Ms. Tartt DOES tell the story it is WONDERFUL! I love it and have taken to 1.50x - ing my way through the needs-an-editor parts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass Rainbow: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (2262)
    Performance
    (873)
    Story
    (879)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: When it comes to author/narrator pairings, nobody tops James Lee Burke and Will Patton in the Robicheaux thrillers. Beloved Burke hero Detective Dave Robicheaux here returns to New Iberia to solve a series of grisly murders. Seven young women in neighboring Jefferson Davis Parish have been brutally murdered. While the crimes have all the telltale signs of a serial killer, the death of Bernadette Latiolais, a high-school honor student, doesn’t fit.

    Gardner says: "Best Yet... Almost"
    "Great literature disguised as Crime genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If this isn't the absolute best Dave Robicheaux novel, it is at least as good as any. I only make this caveat because every Robicheaux novel I read I think is the best one, until I read the next - so I may not be objective here. Not only is this an absolutely where-did-the-time-go page turner, it is great writing - thought provoking, delicious, and poetic. Mr. Burke is a philosopher of the bayou, a master of the Mississippi, the inspiration of Iberia Parish. All my friends are in this one too: Molly, Clete, Alafair, Helen, and Tripod.

    I could barely wait for my credit to show up to buy the sequel - OMG there is a sequel to this, it isn't over! I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I saw there is a sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins
    • Narrated By Paul Costanzo
    Overall
    (2238)
    Performance
    (1888)
    Story
    (1871)

    Listen to this book and send your nonverbal intelligence soaring. Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer and a recognized expert on nonverbal behavior, explains how to "speed-read" people: decode sentiments and behaviors, avoid hidden pitfalls, and look for deceptive behaviors. You'll also learn how your body language can influence what your boss, family, friends, and strangers think of you.

    Teddy says: "Barely Made It Through This One"
    "Fantastic and Incredibly useful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have listened to this book a couple of times now and taken copious notes. I teach leadership communication classes for corporate executives and I have already included a lot of Joe's insights into my teaching - to great effect. I love it when I find something so powerful and immediately useful to my life and work. Thanks Joe!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23161)
    Performance
    (14497)
    Story
    (14646)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "I guess it is time to admit (to myself) - I am not"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    the greatest fan of Mr. Card. I have listened to two of his books now and read one a long time ago. I think I find them a bit too 1960s SciFi in that the story is imaginative but a little two dimensional in plot and character. My tastes have moved on to more sophisticated stories, plots, and authors: Patrick Rothfus, George R.R. Martin, Stephen Donaldston (his "Chronicles") and the like. I was not bored and never once thought I wouldn't finish the book - just that while it was good Sci-Fi it is not great literature. I don't mind a good read. For example as a recent read: "The Help" was a great read. I wouldn't class it as great Lit, but it was a wonderful experience.

    Just ignore this review if you also loved "Hunger Games," a book that stretched out a marvelous one-novel story into a weak trilogy. More Rothfus please!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4998)
    Performance
    (2386)
    Story
    (2401)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "Fantastic story and narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wide in scope, beautifully told, everything that happens in the story turns out to fit in at some point later on in a most clever and satisfying way. It is not often that I come across a great story that s also great literature, with such unique characters, and superb narration. If I HAD to pick on something it is the pace at the beginning. It got off to a very slow start for me. If I didn't already know it had gotten such rave reviews, and if the writing weren't so wonderful, I might have put it aside for the next novel in my queue. SO GLAD I DIDN'T!!! One of the top ten books I have ever read in my 20 years of listen to recorded books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
    • Narrated By Sarah Zimmerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (187)

    The life Kamila Sidiqi had known changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. After receiving a teaching degree during the civil war - a rare achievement for any Afghan woman - Kamila was subsequently banned from school and confined to her home. When her father and brother were forced to flee the city, Kamila became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Armed only with grit and determination, she picked up a needle and thread and created a thriving business of her own.

    Susan says: "Excellent Listen"
    "Really good, but I guess I was expecting ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I guess I was expecting something on the order of "The Kite Runner." Didn't realize it was not a novel. Still, once I realized it was a true story it didn't quite come up to "Three Cups of Tea" in its ability to capture my attention. I enjoyed it, I was not bored, but somehow it was not powerful enough a narrative to push me over the "3 Star" mark

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (3304)
    Performance
    (1639)
    Story
    (1639)

    This mesmerizing first novel tells the epic journey of Lin, an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia to disappear into the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The keys to unlock the mysteries that bind Lin are held by two people: his mentor Khader Khan, mafia godfather and criminal-philosopher; and the beautiful, elusive Karla, whose passions are driven by dangerous secrets.

    Jamie says: "Do Not Miss This"
    "Sweeping, original, illuminating, unpredictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a delight to live with for quite a few business trips in my car. This is such a beautiful, heart warming, tear jerking, laugh-out-loud, scary, spiritual, gut wrenching, all encompassing novel about India that I hardly know where to start. 'Epic' is a good word to begin with. I feel as if I have now somehow know India, it's people, slums, countryside, wealthy mafia, drug culture, smuggling operations, terrifying prison system, bear handlers, standing monks, whore houses, and monsoon madness. Roberts is like a cross between John Irving and T.E. Lawrence. I cannot imagine how he could have written a novel so rich in imagery and detailed regarding life in all aspects of India unless he had experienced everything he writes about - it is just too specific, too detailed, too amazing to not have been lived. And if he did not live everything he describes in the novel, then he is an even better writer than I think he is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Virginian

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Owen Wister
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (45)

    Owen Wister’s The Virginian pre-dates the classic novels of Zane Grey and Max Brand and is considered by many to be the original Western. Dedicated to Wister’s friend and fellow outdoorsman Theodore Roosevelt, this timeless tale almost single-handedly established the cowboy archetype in literature. A quiet, noble foreman of a Wyoming cattle ranch in the 1870s, the Virginian falls for pretty schoolteacher Molly Wood. But when a rival suitor challenges his honor, the Virginian struggles to make his beloved Molly understand the harsh justice of the West.

    David says: "What a Stunning Surprise this novel is!"
    "What a Stunning Surprise this novel is!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A dear friend recommended that I listen to this book. She said that a professor of American literature, when asked what one book, written by a North American author, would he recommend reading above all others, said, "The Virginian." I was amazed. I would have bet on Mark Twain or Poe or Faulkner. My recollection of The Virginian was of a TV series in the 1960s. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a pleasure and delight all the way through. Why is Owen Wister not more well known than Mark Twain? Twain's "Roughing It" is one of my favorite novels of the west but "The Virginian" so outshines Twain in sheer storytelling that it makes the old master look like a copycat. This is not your dime-store, two-dimensional shoot-em-up western. Beautifully written, characters that lift off the page, a well told engrossing story, AND great literature to boot. Mark Twain move over.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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